Jun 27, 2016

What is a Rule 121 Disclosure Statement?

In Arizona, Rule 121 of the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure requires that both parties exchange an initial disclosure statement. These disclosure statements are often referred to as Rule 121 Statements or Rule 121 Disclosures for short.

Rule 121(a) of the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure requires that the disclosure statement is provided to the other party within forty (40) days of the defendant filing an answer. These statements are not filed with the court but simply shared with the opposing party. Many years ago Arizona courts decided to do what they can to help avoid "trial by ambush". That is, that want parties to share whatever information that exists with the opposing party. In theory this is supposed to increase the likelihood of parties settling without court intervention.

The Rule 121 disclosure statement must contain:

  1. A list of all possible trial witnesses. Note, just because a person is listed it does not mean that they must later testify. It simply gives the opposing party notice that you may be interested in having this person testify at the trial.
  2. A list of other people with knowledge. This list is to include all persons who will not be called as trial witnesses, but who have information that may be pertinent to the subject of the lawsuit.
  3. Statements. A person must exchange a list of any written or recorded statements within their possession with the other party. 
  4. Copies of exhibits and information. A person must disclose all documents or exhibits they wish to use to support their claim or defense. Including any electronically stored documents. 
  5. List of all other Documents. This list must include all other relevant documents that are known to exist, regardless of whether or not they are favorable to your case. 
If a party discovers new information after having shared an initial 121 disclosure statement with the opposing party then they are required to provide an updated disclosure statement.